Augmentum: One of 2018's most active UK fintech investors

By Daniel Lanyon on Monday 10 September 2018

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As the investment trust announces a new £2.5m investment in Unmortgage, we take a look at one of the most active fintech investors in 2018 so far.

Augmentum Fintech, the venture capital investment trust specialising in disruptive financial start-up firms, has made its latest investment of £2.5m in UK-based residential rent-to-own specialist Unmortgage, as part of a £10m fundraising.

Listing on the London Stock Exchange on 13 March 2018, it targets fast growing, fintech firms with high future growth potential in both the UK and Europe. The company invests in early stage and later stage fintech businesses in scalable sectors, such as banking, asset management and insurance.

The fund raised £94m in its IPO off the back of a £100m target. The closed ended fund was spun out earlier this year from Augmentum Capital’s (a private venture capitalist) holdings in Zopa, BullionVault and Interactive Investor among others and received backing from the Rothschild Investment Trust when it floated on the London market.  

While it may not have deployed the most in cash terms into UK fintech over rival VCs such as EDBI of Singapore and NIBC Bank who, alongside Clermont Group and GIC (Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund) and Coltrane Asset Management, invested £77m in challenger bank Oaknorth recently or those investing in Revolut's latest round, Augmentum has certainly been one of the most active of recent months as it looks to deploy the proceeds of its listing. 

Since launching, the portfolio has had somewhat of a summer siege of investments showing a fairly agnostic investment style across the fintech spectrum.

Today’s investment in Unmortgage comes after it invested £5.3m in banking challenger Monese last week, part of a £46m Series B fundraising round for the firm.

In August it deployed a further £7m across three investments into Tide (£3m), another banking challenger aimed at business customers, financial information platform Duedil (£2m) and payments disruptor Previse (£2m).

It currently, including the firms mentioned above of including P2P lending platform Zopa, Seedrs, Interactive Investor, BullionVault, and SRL Global (£1.5m).

Tim Levene, co-founder and principal of Augmentum Capital, the Company’s Investment Adviser, said back in May that the firm had a wide pipeline of opportunities and was looking to invest proceeds from its IPO in 12 months.

“Europe offers a large addressable and attractive fintech investment opportunity where we are blessed with a deep pool of talent and the Company is well positioned to capitalise on some of the most compelling opportunities available in the market,” he said.

Speaking on the news of the latest investmen into Monese, Levene: “One of the things we look for in a potential investment is a business that is genuinely pathfinding in a sector which is ripe for innovation.”

“In too many cases home-ownership remains out of reach for people, and the Unmortgage model addresses in an innovative way how people can access the homes they both need and want. The business is also attracting fintech talent who want to participate in a business that has at its heart a social purpose”.

The fund still has approxiamatley £50m of investments to make and given its fairly small sized stakes so far, Augmentum looks set to be making may more annoucements in the coming six months or so. 

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